“Lord High Executioner” Gets the Tables Turned


On October 25, 1957, mob boss of bosses Albert Anastasia was gunned down while getting a haircut in New York City. Anastasia, was head of what would come to be known as the Gambino crime family. He received the moniker Lord High Executioner, for the numerous murders he was suspected of committing or ordering.

In the power vacuum left by the deportation of Lucky Luciano, Anastasia and his ally Carlo Gambino appeared to be the winners. But an ambitious and conniving Vito Genovese had other ideas. He made a truce with Gambino after a failed murder attempt by Vinny “The Chin” Gigante. Genovese turned other mobsters against Anastasia because of the latter’s brutish and violent behavior. It is suspected that by October 1957, Genovese had enough clout to off Anastasia without repercussions.

On the morning of October 25th, Anastasia arrived at the Park Central Hotel on 7th Avenue and West 55th Street to get a haircut. After Albert settled into the barber chair, his bodyguard conveniently went for a walk. A few minutes later, two gunmen walked into the barber shop and shot Anastasia numerous times. The killers walked out the door and disappeared into mid-morning traffic. I assume the mid-morning traffic in 1957 was not as bad as it is today. Otherwise they might still be there. The case was never solved but rumors of the involvement of Genovese, Gambino, and a crew led by Joseph “Crazy Joe” Gallo abounded after the murder.


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